My ex’s late Father, a proud Welshman, always bet against his nation’s rugby team, on the grounds that he’d be happiest if they won, but would have some financial compensation if not. I have known (and made good money from) folks who consider betting against your ‘own’, even in the matter of sport, to be a form of high treason. Each to their own. Wonder how they’d feel on the matter of politics?
Because, on that same basis, your wacky correspondent just put a tenner on Marine le Pen to be the next French President, at five to one. There’s probably never been a bet I’d be more pleased to lose. I nearly put one on Trump but the odds fell to fours. Waiting for them to go up again, they were kiboshed by the Hillary emails ‘story’. It’s true that the le Pen win seems less likely than the Trump one did, but remember how few of the chattering classes expected that. Likewise Brexit, though it did occur to me that the money I could have made at four to one would be worth a lot less in real terms after the vote knackered the pound.
Yet still, only the other day, I was told on facebook, the le Pen bet was a waste of money because “This always happens in the first round of the French Presidential election: people vote in protest. But in the second round they vote with their heads to keep out extremists.”
As I pointed out, these days “People have stopped doing what they always do”. That’s what makes these bets so attractive. An accy on Trump and Brexit was up to 40/1 and probably higher at some points. But who actually won those votes?
Thinking about these comments and how to share them on a narrower stage, thought I should share some other pearls of wisdom from antisocial media. Yrs Trly is not one for starting topics. As has been pointed out in earlier blogs, having negative charisma means few replies are forthcoming, let alone full-blown debate, but weighing in to existing ding-dongs, , usually giving offence in the process, seems to elicit some response, even, rarely, lots of likes and even one marriage proposal.
So why not share some other political shit from facebook with my regular reader?
Just to make it more fun, I’ll not give the original posts and you can try to guess what they said…
My main sadness is that Brexit will not be stopped and will be a fiasco. Were it not for Brexit, I’d be saying let’s hope we can weather the next five years, Labour can get its act together without buying the Blairite sellout which disenfranchised working people and started all this shit and the Tories will be seen for what they are by the folks voting to be shafted by them and hopefully there’ll still be a vestigial NHS to save too.
Sadly with being divorced from Europe too and many institutions having buggered off, we’ll have a huge mountain to climb.
What we need is a real grass roots party – not a fake one like UKIP but something like Podemos in Spainland. I wonder if we have the culture in which such a thing could take root though.
One tragedy is — and even Tory fan Laura Kuntsbugger said this on telly today — when you present voters with Labour’s policies, ie Corbyn & Co’s policies as policies, they poll really well. Present the selfsame policies to people prefaced with the words Labour or Jezza, and they poll dreadfully. But I wonder how well Hunt’s writings about wishing to dismantle the NHS would play if you read them to people, without mentioning Tories or May. Well, they’ve seen the squeeze on welfare on social care and they’ve heard the thoughts of Ian Duncan Gradgrind and still the polls show they’d rather have more of that than t’other.
Just for once ‘better the bastards you know’ won’t cut it, because we know this lot want to dismantle the welfare state, screw us up on the word stage and replace the NHS with a for-profit based system, creating a low-wage economy to boost their mates’ coffers. I’d rather have the psychopathy of Hannibal Lecter and Dracula with the competence of Gerald Ford than that.
Problem with Labour is that the Blairite canker is going to ensure it’s a house divided against itself for some time to come and the Corbynite delusion is going to keep trying to paper over that. But at least the intentions of most of them are good.
I find myself wishing that Tim Farron would have a Damascene conversion to humanistic atheism and create a credible party of social democracy. I’m just glad I live in Scotland, though I worry that Nicola making it too Indyref based will alienate a lot of voters who like SNP left(ish) politics but don’t want, for some inane reason, to break away.
Part of me thinks the left wants to lose this time. Corbyn, as a Benn disciple (but no Tony Benn) is probably far more Brexitish than he admits. But it is an old leftist belief that it has to get worse before it gets better and no doubt a tactic to let the capitalist system completely show its terrors and then encourage a landslide, if not a revolution, when the masses are herded into workhouses and too poor for anything but rudimentary health care. Not only that they maybe realise they can’t carry the pink Tories in their party with them and dream that this would help get rid of them (rather than resulting in the resurrection of Tory Bliar and his soft-right cohorts of the undead).
But I’m probably taking shite there.
Labour just cannot grasp the alienation from their voters. I’m no fan of the buzzphrase but they really should have a think about what ‘metropolitan elite’ signifies. Fuckin’ bourgeois lefties, get us working class anarchists a bad name.
on democracy in the modern world 24/4
We (or they) have seriously lost sight of something here. We now have one place after another in which elections are spilt almost 50-50, and yet the (flawed) principle of majority (little more than, ‘if it came to a fight, we’d win’) means commentators speak of ‘the will of the people’, and a winner-takes-all, ‘suck-it-up-losers’ mentality stalks the land. And politics is about getting out the max of one’s supporters while trying to discourage or suppress the other side, using old-fashioned propaganda or modern data analysis.
It no longer even looks like politicians have much interest in proposing and explaining an idea, the art of persuasion. This is what Proudhon was talking about, when he argues that democracy could be the enemy of reaching decisions via reason and discussion.
And don’t get me started about ‘the will of the people’ being a vote nine months ago and being ruled by the past; or I’ll be forced to start quoting Thom Paine too!